Audience retention report: 

Audience retention is the percentage length of a video that viewers watch. Why is audience retention important? Because it is closely tied to watch time which in turn is one of the main factors that decides your video’s ranking in search and suggested.

The audience retention report will also help you make decisions about how to best present your content to your viewers. For example, if there’s a sudden dip in the graph that could mean that you changed the topic to something your viewers are no longer interested in.

To access a video’s audience retention report:

1.     Navigate to your creator studio.

2.     Type in the name of your video into the search bar at the top of the page. Select the video you’re interested in exploring.

3.      Under the Analytics tab, select Audience Retention.

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4.     You’ll see a red trendline moving across the audience retention graph as your video is playing below. The graph will indicate at which points in the video your audience is clicking away, fast forwarding or rewinding.


What does your audience retention graph look like?

Steady decline

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The goal is to keep the graph as close to 100% as possible. However, it’s normal to see a steady decline in your audience retention graph.

Sharp drop off within the first 15-30 seconds

A sharp drop off within the first 15-30 seconds is usually caused by one of these errors:

Problem #1: Your thumbnail/title combination is misleading.

Solution: Change your thumbnail and title to accurately represent your content, especially the first 15-30 seconds of your video. If viewers are clicking away because they are not seeing what they expected to see, you lose valuable audience members and compromise your video’s ranking in YouTube's algorithm.

Problem #2: There’s a lengthy intro segment at the beginning of your video that is causing viewers to click away or fast forward through it.

Solution: Our recommendation is to avoid intro segments if possible. The first 15-30seconds of your video are crucial in capturing your viewers’ attention and it’s best to eliminate any obstacle that affects audience retention. If you decide to include an intro segment, our recommendation is to keep it between 5-10seconds long.